The Dutch Union of Precarious Dwellings (Bond Precaire Woonvormen), specialist in the field of temporary housing, start their campaign “Inspections no more, change the locks on your door ‘on Saturday 21 April.
Throughout the Netherlands residents of different anti-squat agencies will replace the lock on their front door with a lock of their own. This to reclaim their right to privacy and domestic peace. Which is structurally being violated by the anti-squat agency.
Anti-squat agencies violate the privacy of their residents. Their inspectors enter the homes of the tenants unlawfully. Anti-squat agencies think they are allowed to check on the lifestyle and private life of their tenants.
“Do you wash the dishes regularly? Why don’t you buy a closet for your clothes? Who is this person that’s always sleeping over? ” Regularly the inspector threatens with eviction or fines during these ‘home visits’. Domestic Peace and Privacy are fundamental rights, also for temporary residents. Nobody can take away those rights! The Bond Precaire Woonvormen calls on residents to stand up and stop this trespassing: “Inspections no more, change the locks on your door!’
The right to privacy is enshrined in Art.10 of the Dutch Constitution, the right to domestic peace. In Art.12 of the Constitution and Art. 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) which announced that every person is entitled to respect of personal life. Illegal access to a dwelling is regarded as trespassing in art. 138 of the Penal Code.
The violation of privacy, peace and personal life, done by structural home visits of the inspectors of anti-squat agencies, is therefore illegal. The “permission” for inspections that is forced upon residents by contract should no longer be tolerated.
The temporary use loan agreement under private law which anti-squatting agencies use, is intended for the loan of goods, not for establishing contracts concerning housing. These temporary use loan agreements are used by anti-squatting agencies to circumvent regular tenants rights and the existing arrangements for
temporary rent. This way anti-squat agencies are tearing down tenancy rights. Unfortunately the violation of privacy and domestic peace in the anti-squat industry, is just a small part of the many wrongs and structural violation of tenancy rights in that sector. There is a good reason for the special legislation that was drafted for housing and tenants.
Minister Spies of Internal Affairs should prohibit the anti-squat construction. Also she would have to make sure that the use of living forms with less security of tenure is used to it’s minimum. Housing shortage among young people, urgent house seekers and others in a vulnerable position in the housing market, only find a solution in sufficient affordable housing. The government should not see and use
anti-squatting as a solution for those groups. The outsourcing of property management by market participants, housing corporations and local councils to anti-squat agencies to get around legal regulations on renting should therefore be stopped.
What is the Bond Precaire Woonvormen?
The Bond Precaire Woonvormen (BPW) is an independent organization of specialists in temporary housing. The BPW is working since 2010 specifically for the precarious (temporary) groups in housing. The BPW was created in response to the trend that more and more flexible forms of housing where being created from the supply side of housing (the landlords and property companies). At the same time, demand for permanent
homes has not been diminished, nor has there been a structural change in the needs. Eventually everyone is looking for a permanent, pleasant and safe home. Currently, the BPW is mainly concerned with tackling the abuses in the anti-squat industry. The BPW gives for instance active support to residents who are being evicted by anti-squatting agency for unreasonable reasons: such as getting a baby or not doing your dishes. Through Internet anti-squatting residents know well how to find us and we get numerous requests for help.